Elders are gone from the gate, young men from their music. The joy of our hearts have ceased; Our dancing has been turned into mourning. Lamentations 5:14-15
In Biblical times, elders at the gates of the city was a sign of authority and order. It allowed people to enjoy themselves and live a joyful life. With the destruction of Jerusalem, and the captives taken away to Babylon, all of these things had stopped. No rule, no music, no joy, no dancing, only mourning. This weeping prophet was mourning the loss. He hoped in God for comfort and a day of restoration. Their sins had caught up with them. Now he was hoping repentance would come to them. As the song says, "Weep o'er the erring one, lift up the fallen."